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tv   Top Cottage  CSPAN  June 17, 2017 10:32am-10:46am EDT

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secretary. he is at camp david as well. the president now feels very strongly that john and i should volunteer to resign. schedule, gomplete to american history tv is that top cottage, a small, private-based design by president england roosevelt -- franklin roosevelt as a place to get away. he hosted foreign leaders and dignitaries on the sport behind me, and they discussed major topics of the day. >> i think fdr used this place as a place to bring these world leaders out and have them let their guard down, have them really focus on some of the major issues that they were here to talk about.
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springwood is the same way. when you walked into these buildings, you did not come in as a king or a queen, prime minister, first lady, president, whatever, you came in as a friend. and coming into some at his home as a friend is different than walking into their place of business as a colleague. so going into the white house with fdr and talking about major world events would be much different than coming up to this very secluded porch, where nobody was willing to take a picture of the handshake. it was a place he could be open with his guest, and showing him sitting in his wheelchair laid it all out there. he's there showing off the fact that i am not hiding anything from you, and i think his guests receive that in such a way that they were willing to open up and not hide anything from him. the way they used this place really facilitated some wonderful conversations, and
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they were able to really delve into some of the major issues and come up with an incredible solutions -- some incredible solutions that might not have been possible in some more formal places. >> this building was constructed in 1938. fdr brings an architect to the site by the name of henry toombs from the state of georgia, who is no stranger to sbr -- fdr. they worked together in the past on projects like the hyde park town library, as well as a inple of projects down georgia. he knew what fdr wanted in the building, but he was not brought toear to did -- up here design this building himself. fdr had every intention of doing that. he was going to design the ombs was going to make sure everything would work. he designed it not only to his personal influence, but his
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personal need. he was in a wheelchair, so he designed it in such a way that he could use this place. he does not need assistance. there was an earthen ramp onto the porch, which he would have been help up on, but once he got into the building, he would enter through a sliding door, which were somebody in a wheelchair, was important. sliding doors, it did not matter which side you were on, used with the doors open. most sliding doors do not have that track at the bottom. this track was recessed down to onefloor so it created small bump. the hallways were a little wider, it was a flat surface all the way through, all hardwood floors, no threshers -- thresholds were sills between the doors were obstacles. the kitchen was one of those double swung doors, so if you push the door away from you it opened. he got to use this building more than he could use springwood himself, so he got to be the host appear.
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, whichto host his guests he took a lot of pride in. he loved to show this place off, he loved to be able to serve his guests, and pictures of him appear, smiling, enjoying him elf, -- himself, he would make toast, butter and it himself and serve it to his guests, and by all accounts it was the best toast anyone had ever had, but my new you probably would have -- by afternoon, he probably would have offered you a martini and smartuld in smart -- been to say no thank you, mr. president, because his martinis were dreadful and mixed with way too much vermouth, which is how the president like them. so those who tried visited -- to visit springwood, it was much different.
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the public would often come to the presidents house dust president of the house, trying to meet, greet, ask opinions, and this was removed bar enough away from springwood to where he could get away from all of the activity going on down below. we have a recorded number of cottage-- visits to top 1955, andm 1995 -- there were others that were not documented? probably. kingof the guests included george the second of greece, the crown prince of norway, the queen and princess of the netherlands, the prime minister of canada, king george the sixth, and queen elizabeth, the queen mum from britain. and members of his cabinet and administration, like harry hopp in -- hopkins, april hammond, among others.
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they were in need of help and assistance, and i think they were willing to sit in a place probably far removed from their comfort zone, and i think it may have been quite refreshing for them to get away from everything happening below as well. -- as fdr demand that he the man he really was rather than the president of the united states. people are probably most familiar with the famous hot bug picnic, where the queen and king of england arrived here in hive -- hyde park. this was the first time a seated british monarch and been to the united states. that visit was capped off with a picnic on the porch year at top -- age, a hot topic neck hotdog picnic. when they opened this to the public in 2001, the queen mum had remarksive, and to be read at the opening and it had nothing to do with the hotdogs or top cottage or the
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building, but she talked about fdr's driving. the roads we mentioned earlier, the bumpy roads, she said i was holding on for dear life. she said i thought for sure i was going to die, and in her own words, said fdr drove like a bat out of hell. they arrived for the picnic, and she quickly exited the car and last section, but she exited the car, they had their picnic, and it came time to leave at the end of the day and fdr asked why don't you get back in the car and we go back down the hill? and she said not with you. she was not prepared to go into a second time. she wrote down the road with what fdr's secret service detail, and i'm sure fdr had a wonderful story to tell from then, probably embellished over the years as the day the queen would not ride with him.
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while they were up your, the roosevelts treated the royals to an all-american picnic. we always hear about the hotdogs that were served, but the menu was much more vast than that. virginia ham, smoked turkey, hot ,ostages -- hot sausages hotdogs, strawberry shortcake for dessert, but it was the hotdogs that stole the show. and they were swiss premium hotdogs. i do not believe the queen had ever seen a hotdog before, because she asked fdr what they were. fdr said it is a hotdog. she said how would i eat such a thing? take one in your hand, put it in your mouth, and , which wasd you chew a very descriptive way to teach someone how to eat a hot dog. the king went back and enjoyed his, and went back for seconds, but the queen did not have one. this visit, by many in the press, was deemed a social visit
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, but the visit was much more important than that. of are looking at the middle june of 1939, 2 .5 months before september 1 and the invasion of poland, the beginning of world war ii. they were sent over by neville chamberlain to secure communications, to make sure the united states would continue to be allies with the british. , andwas an important visit i think it lends itself to one of the earliest involvements of the united take into the war effort -- states into the war effort. winston churchill was here for different times -- four different times, but on june 20, 1942 was probably the most important visit. we know earlier in the day that he and fdr and harry hopkins are down in the study at springwood, and they are talking about two alloys -- the british atomic program.
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inearch was taking place london, which was rather difficult at the time with the constant bombarding of the city, so they were not making the progress that they were hoping to. word was coming down that the germans were rather close to developing an atomic weapon. churchill was asking fdr to bring the program and the scientist over to the united states, and fdr agrees to that. thein two months time, british nuclear program is gone, and the manhattan project was born out of that. we know they are discussing this down at springwood from churchill's memoirs, and margaret davies to please -- and these diary entries from the day, she sets the mood at top cottage. austin does not spell out the words -- while she does not spell out the words that were time,she mentions that
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4:00 in the afternoon at top theyge, and mentioned seemed very distracted, like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. we all waited for them to speak. we may never know the exact words that were set appear, -- but appear, but -- up here, here would have been the place to do it. there were no press, telephones come outside communication whatsoever. this was the place to keep a secret. where if youace are dealing with the stresses of the presidency and everything going on in washington, the only president has, to this day, to gone through two major events, great depression and world war ii, and the stresses of the presidency were pretty hard on him, and i think sitting appear -- up here as quiet and peaceful
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it,t was, were, as he put perfect to recharge his batteries. this weekend, we are featuring the history of hyde park, new york, along with our cable partners. learn about hyde park and other stops on our cities tour at you're watching american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. ♪ >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite fighter -- provider. >> author tom hazlett talks about his book the political spectrum.
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also we hear remarks by a wireless policy specialist from verizon and a technology representative from facebook. this 90 minute event was hosted by the heritage foundation. mr. hilboldt: good afternoon, welcome to the heritage foundation in our auditorium. we welcome those joining us on our website and those who will be joining us via c-span television network. for those in house, we are the -- asking the courtesy that mobile devices have been turned off or silenced as we prepare to begin. for those watching online and in the future, you are welcome to send questions or comments at anytime by emailing we will post today's program on the heritage homepage for future reference, as well. leading our discussion today is a senior research fellow and regulatory policy.


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